On the initiative of Prof. Yervant Terzian (Cornell University, NY, USA), a Project of Astronomical Lectures in the schools of the Republic of Armenia (RA) was conducted by ArAS on November 21-25, 2016. Since astronomy is not a primary subject at RA schools, this project was a chance to partially compensate this gap. High schools, including some specialized schools were selected by the RA Ministry of Education and Science (MES), one from each province and others from Yerevan. The lectures were organized either in specialized classrooms with participation of at least 30 pupils, and in some cases in the school halls with participation of up to 200 people. Altogether 27 lectures were given by 5 astronomers and Sona Farmanyan, expert in Cultural Astronomy:
A general presentation on “Wonders of the Universe” (PowerPoint file) was prepared, which included
information on the history and modern state of astronomy, its present developments, achievements of BAO
led by the outstanding scientist Viktor Ambartsumian and other famous astronomers, and a lot of beautiful
pictures from the Universe. As agreed beforehand, all lectures were organized in classrooms with projectors.
A number of promotional materials were distributed to the schools libraries, teachers and pupils. ArAS and BAO publications were used as well and some were published and produced in frame of this project. The following materials were distributed:
One of the goals of the project was the discovery of talented pupils interested in astronomy. We will maintain further contacts with them and follow their further growth as potential future scientists. For this, special forms were prepared and distributed in schools as feedback from this project. Hundreds of pupils have filled in and returned these forms with their contact data. On behalf of ArAS we acknowledge FAR and RA MES for their support and look forward for further activities.
To remind, ArAS School Lectures program runs since 2012 and so far, in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 we have visited 66 schools (some of them several times) in Yerevan, Armenian provinces and Artsakh and have delivered 95 lectures. Our lecturers have been: Avetik Grigoryan, Marietta Gyulzadian, Susanna Hakopian, Haik Harutyunian, Gohar Harutyunian, Areg Mickaelian, Elena Nikoghosyan, Hovhannes Pikichian, Ararat Yeghikian, and Sona Farmanyan.